Health

Cocoa Crisis, stock up on chocolate now!
November 12, 2010 06:53 AM - Tim Wall, Discovery News

Chocolate was once the drink of Mayan and Aztec kings. Now a cocoa shortage may make chocolate an exclusive luxury again. Chocolate could become as rare as caviar, said John Mason of the Ghana-based Nature Conservation Research Council. Which means chocolate treats may become unaffordable for the average person. The price of cocoa, the raw ingredient for chocolate, has been skyrocketing in international markets.

First rigorous health study of BPA-levels in food
November 11, 2010 08:20 AM - Ano Lobb, Justmeans

The first ever peer-reviewed study of BPA levels in specific US foods was just published, and the results are surprisingly comforting. The headline you might read is that BPA levels are 1,000 times lower than the health levels for "tolerable daily intake" set by US and European food safety authorities.

California’s Air Quality Plan to be Rejected by the EPA
November 9, 2010 09:33 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Yesterday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to disapprove plans developed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The air quality plans aimed to bring areas with poor air quality such as the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley into attainment with national health standards for particulate emissions. The fine particulates, known as PM2.5 are notoriously bad in places like Los Angeles and the surrounding area.

Pesticides In Pregnant Jerusalemites Higher Than NYC Counterparts
November 5, 2010 02:31 PM - Tafline Laylin, Green Prophet

Given the choice between a roach-free house or one filled with scattering critters, most people will take the former. But in some parts of the Middle East, such as the UAE, pests are becoming more pernicious – attributed to rising temperatures and deepening the challenge to get rid of them.

Yanks less healthy than Brits but live just as long if not longer
November 4, 2010 09:32 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

They are known as two peoples separated by a common language. They are also separated by much different health care systems. The English can boast that their elderly have a lower rate of chronic disease than their American counterparts, according to a new study. However, sick elderly Americans still have a lower death rate than sick elderly British.

NOAA and FDA Announce Gulf Seafood well within safety standards based on new, more stringent testing
November 1, 2010 05:37 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

A study conducted by NOAA and the FDA, building upon the extensive testing and protocols already in use by federal, state and local officials for the fishing waters of the Gulf, NOAA and the FDA are using a chemical test to detect dispersants used in the Deepwater Horizon-BP oil spill in fish, oysters, crab and shrimp. Trace amounts of the chemicals used in dispersants are common, and levels for safety have been previously set. Previous testing involved a "sensory analysis process". Using this new test in the Gulf scientists have tested 1,735 tissue samples including more than half of those collected to reopen Gulf of Mexico federal waters. Only a few showed trace amounts of dispersants residue (13 of the 1,735) and they were well below the safety threshold of 100 parts per million for finfish and 500 parts per million for shrimp, crabs and oysters. As such, the study concludes that they do not pose a threat to human health.

Innovation: Portable Breast Scanners
October 29, 2010 02:52 PM - David A Gabel, ENN

A new portable scanner for detecting early signs of breast cancer has been developed at the University of Manchester by Professor Zhipeng Wu. The device works by radio frequency technology that can show the presence of tumors on a computer screen. The amazing thing is that it can show the image within seconds on the computer screen, rather than an x-ray mammography which takes minutes and can only be done at hospital or specialist care centers. This new technology can revolutionize the early detection for women with breast cancer.

Mind Over Fat
October 28, 2010 05:58 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Scientists have revealed that an anti-obesity drug changes the way the brain responds to appetizing, high-calorie foods in obese individuals. This insight may aid the development of new anti-obesity drugs which reduce the activity in the regions of the brain stimulated by the sight of tasty foods. This is not unexpected since the brain is the center of many such sensory responses. For example in 2008, researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and colleagues demonstrated a link between a predisposition to obesity and defective dopamine signaling in the mesolimbic system in rats. The new study at the University of Cambridge discovered that the anti-obesity drug sibutramine reduced brain responses in two regions of the brain, the hypothalamus and the amygdala, both of which are known to be important in appetite control and eating behavior. Their findings are reported today in The Journal of Neuroscienc

Air Pollution Control by Trees
October 22, 2010 12:29 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Trees and other vegetation must use what is in their environment. So it is not surprising to find that they absorb pollutants (natural or man made) which may be absorbed successfully or may cause the vegetation to die. Vegetation plays an unexpectedly large role in cleansing the atmosphere, a new study finds. The research, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., uses observations, gene expression studies, and computer modeling to show that deciduous plants absorb about a third more of a common class of air-polluting chemicals than previously thought.

Philippines braces as Megi becomes super typhoon
October 17, 2010 08:05 AM - Manny Mogato, Reuters, MANILA

A super typhoon bore down on the northeastern Philippines on Sunday packing winds of more than 250 kph (155), and evacuations began before it makes landfall on Monday morning. Typhoon Megi would be felt on Sunday night in the north of the main island Luzon, a rice and corn growing area, and the government advised up to 7 million people in its direct path to stock up on food and medicine. Government forecasters said waves off the east coast could be greater than 14 meters (46 ft), and advised against travel to the region as Megi could bring flash flooding, landslides and storm surges. Manila was not expected to be affected by the typhoon.

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